Traffic is jamming up at LAX as Uber, Lyft, and taxi drivers spend up to an hour creeping towards the new “LAXit” pickup area where passengers must now go to meet up with their vehicles.
Meanwhile, passengers are waiting in long lines to get to the pickup area themselves from the main terminal.
The new pickup area was designed to decrease general traffic congestion and to facilitate pickups and drop-offs during a major airport renovation and an airport train construction project that will cause closures of curbs areas and lanes until 2023.
This post is based on the LA Times article, LAX rules for Uber, Lyft and taxis create chaos—and opportunities, by Samantha Masunaga, November 5, 2019, and the YouTube video, To Ease Traffic Congestion, LAX Will No Longer Allow Ride Share Pickups At Terminal, by CBS Los Angeles, October 3, 2019. Image source: Kyoungil Jeon/Getty Images
1. What are customers doing to try to access their transport, and how is this affecting other businesses’ capacity planning?
Guidance: Some customers are seeking alternate ways to meet up with transport services, bypassing the pickup area and hopping on any courtesy shuttle that will get them away from the main terminal area. This includes car rental shuttles, car park shuttles, and hotel shuttles. They then hail their ride from there and bypass the LAXit area altogether. This in turn is causing capacity problems. Shuttle services that weren’t designed to give free transport to large numbers of non-customers are seeing double or triple the load. Some courtesy shuttles are now requiring passengers to show proof of their patronage of the shuttle services’ business before being allowed on board.
2. Were the problems with the system foreseen before its implementation? How has LAX responded?
Guidance: Uber representatives told LAX beforehand that the new pickup area would not be large enough and that traffic jams and long wait times would result. Now, LAX has increased the size of the pickup area by approximately fifty percent and has reallocated the areas among Uber, Lyft, and cab services to try to create a better flow of traffic. Some improvement in service times were reported as a result of the added capacity.